Singaporean health tech startup Mesh Bio and UK-based drug discovery firm MultiOmic Health have started collaborating to build a huge multi-omics dataset that will provide insights into metabolic syndrome-related conditions among Asians.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
According to a press statement, Mesh Bio will tap on its network of healthcare providers to recruit participants for their study, specifically patients with chronic metabolic disease and increased risk of complications, such as chronic kidney disease.
On its part, MultiOmic will generate genomic, proteomic, metabolomic and other omics data from anonymised body fluid samples. These omics data will then be combined with anonymised data from clinical and diagnostic tests to build a rich multi-omics dataset and to acquire AI-based computational biology models.
The organisations will also conduct joint projects to enhance patient stratification for the clinical stage R&D programmes of other biopharmaceutical and medical technology companies.
WHY IT MATTERS
The large multi-omics dataset they are building will enable the companies to advance their respective R&D programmes to develop precision therapeutic and diagnostic products for patients with metabolic syndrome-related conditions.
“Longitudinal multi-omics data combined with deep clinical phenotyping is essential to developing transformative therapeutics and diagnostics in chronic multi-factorial diseases,” said Angeli Möller, vice-chairperson and co-founder of the global advocacy group Alliance for Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare.
Möller also said that the study will help generate “new and much-needed insights specific to populations in Asia,” who have been underrepresented in historical research on metabolic diseases.
Before the pandemic, metabolic diseases, which among others include type 2 diabetes mellitus and chronic kidney disease, accounted for half of the world’s death and nearly $2 trillion in global healthcare spending, based on estimates by MultiOmic.
During the pandemic, patients with metabolic syndrome condition form a “significant” portion of COVID-19-related hospitalisations and deaths, according to a study published in the medical journal Diabetes Care. Recent studies have also indicated that COVID-19 survivors have shown an increased risk of getting type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.
THE LARGER TREND
The Singapore-based gut microbiome company AMILI is another organisation that aims to fill the gap in gut health research that is representative of the Asian population. The company is building a large, multi-ethnic repository of microbiome data and samples from Asia that will assist academic institutions and biotech firms in identifying new biomarkers for the formulation of gut health products. Early this month, AMILI raised $10.5 million in Series A funding which will support its further expansion across Asia.
In other news, metabolic health-focused fitness app HealthifyMe recently came up with a new offering that combines health tracking and smart diagnostics. HealthifyPro is a fitness plan that comes with a biosensor system, including continuous glucose monitor; a connected Smart Scale metabolic panel; and support from in-house fitness coaches and AI assistant, Ria.